Narrator: This time of year, mid March, winter winds down and Ladybugs are about to partake in the spring rite of a mating and eating frenzy; In the case of some females, eating and mating at the same time.
††††††††††††††††††††††††† Cast Of Characters:
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ladybug 1
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ladybug 2
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ladybug 3
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Old Ladybug
Ladybug 1: †I am a male, but they call me Lady.
Ladybug 2: Of course they do! All you males are ladies, at least in name.
Ladybug 3: You have to admit, we do share something in common except for the fact you males are always smaller.
Ladybug 1: Humiliated again!
Ladybug 3: †Oh stopping thinking of those silly little roles humans play.
Ladybug 2: No complications, just letting nature take its course of female superiority.
Farmer ††Whatís all the bickering?† Female and male alike I am sure have saved generations of my familyís crops from pests like aphids.
Ladybug 3: Not to mention those other yummy soft bodied insects.
Ladybug 2: I can eat up to 50 aphids a day.
Ladybug 1: Iíll have you know that I had personally devoured 55 aphids in a day on several occasions.
Farmer:† See what I mean? You are all willing to do your part. My friend Homeowner has a question for you ladies.
Homeowner: Hey ladies, how many other insects or bugs do you think I gladly welcome into my home? You have personally rid my home of so many little pests. Besides youíre all so cute and cuddly.
Ladybug 1: Homeowner, I promise you, if you ever squeeze me Iíll bite you.
Farmer: (Quietly whispering into Homeowners ear) If they bite you, you wonít know it anyway, but at least let the lady think it hurts. I always find its good for the morale and a happy ladybug is a hungry ladybug. They take no prisoners!
Ladybug 2: Speaking of no prisoners, how about the time I had to escape from that bird who expected me to be the catch of the day. Just when that little bird was ready to come in for a landing, the bird spotted my bright colors. In a flash he was gone. The bird realized what a distasteful morsel I was about to leave in its mouth.
Homeowner to Ladybug 3: †What do you mean by a distasteful morsel? As the lady was about to reply, in swooped a tiny bird.
Bird overhearing the conversation: Yuck! Donít think I wasnít warned by other birds about bight colors on prey, but I had to find out for myself. I searched one fine day for a ladybug to feast on. They looked so tasty and easy prey; I didnít believe the myth anyway. Those birds probably only wanted more ladybugs for themselves. †As I swooped in and began to delight in my coming catch, the ladybug implored me to stop and think before I take the first bite. She had given me all the opportunity to convince myself that ladybugs were a bad choice of food. She first tried to appeal to my sense of decency which of course would not deter me and then my sense of taste. I had gotten this close and was not about to turn back without my snack.
Old Ladybug: Do you know that we share a common title.
Bird: Indeed I said, indeed. Humor me before I devour you if you must, but I am getting hungrier as you speak and I may not be able to control myself much longer.
†Old Ladybug: I was originally titled Ladybird by the English and later changed to lady bug by the Americans. Even though I may appear as tiny as an eraser head, my original moniker was ďladybirdĒ. So you see somehow we share the title bird, which should be enough to convince you that I would be a bad choice of food for you. I imagine I would not want to leave you with the guilt of eating me.
Bird: This charade is going to stop. My taste buds are growing tired and weary. They are swollen and salivating for a taste of you.
Old ladybug: Havenít you noticed my spots are almost all faded. I had 20 at one time in colors of orange yellow and black. I was quite the beauty. Anyway, how tasty of a morsel can I be at my age?
†Bird: You are mine Ladybug!
†Old Ladybug: Taste if you must, but my bright colors should have served as a warning to you that I am not a tasty morsel for predators the likes of you; how I ooze a yellow foul-smelling liquid that will have you wishing you never see another ladybug as long as you live.
Narrator: It was too late. The bird had engulfed the Ladybug; she was chewed and eaten. The bird grew sickly quick.
Bird: Oh how I should have listened to the other birds. Let alone the Ladybug who warned me for my own good.
Narrator: The three Ladybugs moved their antennas in unison and the bird flew off hoping to remind other birds of their folly if they try to eat a lady.
Farmer: (To all three ladybugs); you see how admired and revered you are?
Homeowner: Imagine, the size of a pencil eraser and yet and so proud.
Narrator: All at once the fluttering sounds of wings could be heard, but only amongst the Ladybugs. (There wings fluttered rapidly, most say at 85 beats per minute) It was that most joyous of times for Ladybugs again. Spring was here and the aphids would be replenished. The ladybugs would again devote themselves to several days of eating and frenzied mating.